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#223506 - 05/09/08 11:19 PM Forgiveness
Liam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 42
Loc: Currently South Africa
I wonder how many on here find themselves in the position where they forgive their abusers and then bounce back having to forgive them all over again. I am a christian. I love God and I am thankful for what He has done in my life this far - knowing that He does not owe me anything at all. Yet this has always been a troubling issue for me-still. The other thing is that i have a hard time to forgive / trust people once they really hurt me. I may forgive them but i do not trust them again. I know that i should give them a fair chance but how do i separate this relationship especially if they step over the boundaries you set over and over. At what stage do you walk away? The other thing is - since my own father were the first to violate me sexual boundaries ( and although i forgave him) - i do not trust him. How do i keep the relationship going and for how long do i have to pretend that every thing is fine? No one else in my family knows. I cannot do this to my mother or sister or brothers. They had the hardest time to accept that i were molested not even to mention that it all started with my own father. His a perfectionist - a christian and would never admit to this. I left my country of birth ten years ago because of this and today i feel so much guilt and remorse about it. My mother just feels like i hate them for some reason. She's always the "peace maker" between us. I am on a visa and in a few months i have to return to my country of birth again. This is going to be so difficult. Do i have the right as a christian to cut them all out of my life and keep this secret. Either way i have lost most of my family already. Any one with ideas or light about this would be welcomed


Edited by Liam (05/09/08 11:21 PM)

#223513 - 05/10/08 12:17 AM Re: Forgiveness [Re: Liam]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
I so sympathize with your position. My father was my abuser and a pastor of our church all during my childhood. My story is on the boards. I forgave him some time ago but it was a long long time between when I left home and when I finally was able to forgive him.

Liam there is a huge differenct in forgiving someone and continuing to allow them to hurt you. There are conawquences to actions.
If some one lies to me I can forgive them even if they lie to me a hundred time. This does not mean I believe them anymore or take their word for anything ever again.
If someone rapes me, I can forgive the rape and maybe even harbor no ill feeings against them but I will still report it and file charges. There are concequences to actions and people need to understand this.

If I were in your shoes I would disclose. I would tell on my father. I must confess to you here that I didn't do that with my father. I did not know what I know now or I would have. I believed I was the only person my father had touched. I was wrong and I will live with the consequences of that for the rest of my life. But if I had it to do over again, yes I would tell anyone and everyone I could. I would have stopped him. It is rare a perp only has one victim. I know that now.

Liam there is an excellent book on forgiveness by Lewis B Smedes called "Forgive and Forget, healing the hurts we don't deserve." It is from a Christian perspective and I think would be very helpful to you in understanding what forgiveness is and what it is not.

You can forgive your father but you cannot let him rule your life with his secrets and intimidation. You can never trust him again snd should not as he has already proven he will not respect your boundaries.

If and only if he has confessed and repented and attempted to make amends I would then maintain a cautious relationship with him but I would watch him for the rest of his life.

Love him, forgive him but keep your boundaries intact and your distance. That is my opinion as a son of an abuser who wished someone had given me this talk 50 years ago. Good luck Liam and welcome to Malesurvivor.


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